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Establishing God’s Kingdom: Rebellious Heart, Righteous Judgment

If you’ve ever found yourself in a court room, you understand how intimidating standing before a judge can be. You find yourself standing before an individual who has the ability to make decisions that could impact the rest of your life if not multiple generations. As much power as any human judge has, God has infinitely more.  What is clear in Daniel 5 is that God judges our arrogance and rebellion against Him.


  1. A Rebellious Heart Toward God: v.1-16

At the beginning of chapter 5, we see that a new king, Belshazzar, is now reigning. Even though the Persians are at the gate, he throws this huge party. He decides that he will take the vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple, and use them as he and his lords get drunk. This is an absolute mockery of God. This is what a rebellious heart does, it mocks God. As easy as it would be to shake our head at the king, we too mock and rebel against God. This Sunday we listed five ways that we do this. Here they are again:

We Mock and Rebel Against God When…

  1. We think we are in control
  2. We worship idols
  3. We are not submitted to the whole of the Scriptures
  4. We believe we are self-sufficient
  5. We mock God’s bride

This rebellious heart is met by a response from God. God has, what appears to be, a human hand write a message on the wall. This terrifies Belshazzar and he races to have his wise men interpret the meaning of the message. None of them can. This leaves him confused, scared and perplexed. The queen (possibly the queen mother) tells him about Daniel, and he invites Daniel in to help.


  1. A Righteous Judgment From God: v.17-31

As Daniel enters in to the situation, it’s clear that he understands the seriousness and severity of the moment. He wastes no time pointing out that God had given Nebuchadnezzar power, and that when Nebuchadnezzar began to think wrongly about himself, that God humbled him. Daniel then makes it clear that Belshazzar knew all of this and yet still choose to rebel against God, which is the reason for God’s judgment against him. In the same way that Belshazzar did not humble his heart but lifted himself up against God, we have to ask ourselves if we too have done the same in our lives? Do we think that we’re above God? Do we mistakenly think that we can be the exception in rejecting God’s law and rule? Because, what is clear is that God pronounces judgment on sinful people. He pronounces judgment on Belshazzar. The truth is, the king gets what he deserves. We need to know that we should receive that same sentence of death because of our rebellion against God. Yet, that’s not the case! If we are in Christ, the wrath that we deserved because of our sin now falls upon Christ. We don’t receive God’s wrath, but instead His grace and we are covered by the righteousness of Christ! Loved ones, let us live as people who marvel at and celebrate this incredible truth!



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